Nissan Motor has officially filed a lawsuit against its former chairman Carlos Ghosn. The suit, which was filed after Ghosn's arrest in Tokyo and his daring escape to Lebanon, is seeking compensation of up to $90 million.
According to Nissan, the company is seeking to recover losses incurred from Ghosn's corrupt actions, which included the illegal use of company funds to purchase residential property, the personal use of private jets, and for payments made to his relatives and lawyers.
In its suit filed on Wednesday, Nissan stated that it hopes to recover a significant portion of the money illegally used by Ghosn and the monetary damages inflicted on the company through his misconduct. The civil lawsuit was filed in a court in Yokohama, Japan. The move was made right after the company's earnings results announcement where its new CEO, Makoto Uchida, vowed to turn around the struggling automotive manufacturer.
Ghosn is currently in Lebanon, a country without an extradition treaty with Japan. The Brazilian-born businessman continues to claim his innocence of the accusations and argues that he was forced to escape Japan because he was a victim of the country's "rigged justice system."
The former executive's escape from Japan had baffled authorities as he had apparently used a series of transportation methods to reach Lebanon. Ghosn' reportedly used a bullet train and a private jet during his escape. His sudden escape meant that he essentially forfeited a $14 million bail that was granted to him by Japanese authorities.
Nissan added in its filing that the claim would still increase over the course of the litigation as it would be adding the bill for legal costs and the fines from the Japanese Financial Services Agency. Nissan also stated that it is currently taking action to recover specific assets purchased by Ghosn using company funds. This includes a reported luxury yacht located in the British Virgin Islands. It is still not yet clear if Nissan will be able to get the amount it is asking or if it will be able to recover the money used by Ghosn during his tenure.
The automaker revealed that it also plans to take legal action against Ghosn's "groundless and defamatory" statements made during a recent press conference in Lebanon. Ghosn mentioned during the conference that certain "unscrupulous and vindictive" individuals at Nissan had worked together to bring him down.
Ghosn' representatives pointed out the convenience of filing the complaint on the eve of the company's financial results. The executive's spokesman added that Ghosn's lawyers will take retaliatory action once the claim is brought to their attention.